The following letter was sent to the City Council and Administration from a combined group of Palo Alto Neighborhoods (PAN) and Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ) leaders. We have been informed that the City Council will discuss CAC issues at the August 17th meeting.
If you agree with the opinions expressed here, please sign our petition to add your voice to this discussion.
Dear City Council, Jim Keene, Hillary Gitelman,
We the undersigned have several concerns about the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Comprehensive Plan, and are recommending remedies in order to provide trustworthy, fair, and broad community representation.
- Dan Garber has both the appearance of and an actual material conflict of interest that makes him an inappropriate choice to serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee, particularly as its Chair, given that he recently worked for the city on design and planning issues for 27 University (the subject of a major Grand Jury report assailing the city’s action), and stands to benefit professionally from decisions made by the CAC.
- Having those who work for the city then participate in citizen panels intended to be independent is the much-maligned “revolving door,” which is illegal in many places.
- Rather than a “brief summary,” full minutes should be provided within a week of the meeting so the public can understand and comment on the points discussed.
- Minutes should also articulate dissenting as well as majority viewpoints and vote totals so that City Council will understand the challenges that the CAC addressed.
- Ideally, meetings should be televised or at least taped and rebroadcast.
- Is there a way to distinguish between Palo Alto residents and non-residents?
- Can duplicate comments be identified?
- Can the number of unique commentators be identified?
Note that the undersigned residents are in substantial agreement with the concerns expressed, although minor disagreements do exist.
Sheri Furman, Midtown
Cheryl Lilienstein, Barron Park
Annette Glanckopf, Midtown
Norm Beamer, Crescent Park
Jeff Levinsky, Duvenek/St. Francis
Peter Taskovich, Meadow Park
Neilson Buchanan, Downtown North
Tim Gray, Charleston Meadows
Elaine Meyer, University South
Mark Nadim, Palo Alto Hills
Douglas Moran, Barron Park
Becky Sanders, Ventura
David Schrom, Evergreen Park
Robin Bayer, Evergreen Park
Joseph Hirsch, Green Acres